Barack Obama has never helped anyone but himself. Barack Obama has never been engaged in the great struggles. In fact, Barack Obama disdains the stuggles Democrats have fought, relegating those proud, fierce struggles to the past.
Barack Obama does not understand how fiercly and relentlessly we will fight for the voting rights of Florida and Michigan voters, because he has never fought a battle.
Yesterday, Hillary picked up the proud and bloodied flag of civil rights and waved it for all to see.
We will fight for Florida and Michigan all the way to the convention and beyond. We still have not forgotten about 2000. Democrats know that in 2000 when the intent of Florida voters was not respected every Democrat in every state was diminished. Every Democrat, not just in Florida, suffered from the stolen election which took place in Florida.
On May 31, 2008, the Democratic? National Committee’s Rules Committee will meet to fix the election for Barack Obama. The audacious hope is to nominate Barack Obama at the Democratic? National Convention on or around Women’s Equality Day – August 26.
Rules Committee member and Obama shill, Donna Brazile, and the Chicago thugs must not be allowed to steal this election in a backroom deal. The voters and how they actually voted must be respected. The intent of Florida and Michigan voters must not be “reinterpreted” by Democratic? Party officials in “hanging chad” proceedings.
The Rules Committee meeting must be broadcast on-line and televised as well. Let all Americans see how the Democratic? National Committee is using rules to discriminate. No backroom deals. The previous Rules Committee meeting which changed its own rules in order to disenfranchise Michigan and Florida 100% (two states Obama could not win) was not seen by most Americans.
Let the Rules Committee feel the heat generated of national attention.
Major figures from the Hillary Clinton campaign should consider attending the May 31 meeting. Hillary will be campaigning in Puerto Rico. Perhaps Bill Clinton or Chelsea can attend the Rules Committee. Governor Ed Rendell should attend the meeting. Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs-Jones should attend the meeting.
Let’s force the Rules Committee and Obama/Dean/Brazile/Pelosi discriminate against Florida and Michigan in public. Let’s then appeal any and all discriminatory rulings in Denver before the Credentials Committee of the Democratic? National Convention. Force the Democratic? National Committee, in late August, a few months before the general election, to discriminate against Florida and Michigan for all the world to see.
The Puerto Rico primary will be held on June 1, the day after the Rules Committee decision. Let Hillary, in her Puerto Rico victory speech announce that the Civil Rights battle for the voting rights of Florida and Michigan citizens will take us all the way to Denver.
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Kevin Spacey, who stars in the movie Recount, about the 2000 battle for voting rights in Florida (Bush v. Gore) stated yesterday I do not see how you can pretend two million people did not vote.
The movie Recount (The Future Of The Nation Was Hanging By A Chad) will premiere on HBO on Sunday, May 25, 2008 at 9:00 p.m. – six days before the Rules Committee meets.
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The Rules and Bylaws Committee of the Democratic? National Committee will meet on May 31, 2008 at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel. The meeting is open to the public. The Committee is insisting those who want to attend pre-register.
Let’s all register and attend the Rules Committee meeting on May 31, 2008. But beware: Don’t let them tell you there is not enough space. Show up no matter what. It’s time once again to fight for Civil Rights – inside and outside.
The arguments, pro and con voting rights for Florida and Michigan will take place in the morning session. The Committee will “deliberate” after they lunch – presumably on vittles not the voting rights of the citizens of Florida and Michigan.
REGISTRATION starts on-line at 10:00 a.m. next Tuesday, May 27, 2008. You may also call 202-479-5137 to register.
The Committee forbids “banners, posters, signs, handouts, and noisemakers of any kind” for those attending the meeting. For those who wish to protest outside presumably free speech will still be the law of the land.
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Hillary Clinton is prepared to go all the way to Denver to fight for the civil rights of Florida and Michigan voters. Hillary understand that often rules are made to discriminate.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Clinton said she is willing to take her fight to seat Florida and Michigan delegates to the convention if the two states want to go that far.
Asked whether she would support the states if they appeal an unfavorable rules committee decision to the convention floor, the former first lady replied:
“Yes I will. I will, because I feel very strongly about this.”
“I will consult with Floridians and the voters in Michigan because it’s really their voices that are being ignored and their votes that are being discounted, and I’ll support whatever the elected officials and the voters in those two states want to do.” [snip]
Asked if she now envisioned the race extending beyond June 3, Clinton replied: “It could, I hope it doesn’t. I hope it’s resolved to everyone’s satisfaction by that date, because that’s what people are expecting, but we’ll have to see what happens.” [snip]
Floridians “learned the hard way what happens when your votes aren’t counted and the candidate with fewer votes is declared the winner,” she told supporters. “The lesson of 2000 here in Florida is crystal clear: If any votes aren’t counted, the will of the people isn’t realized and our democracy is diminished.”
“The people who voted did nothing wrong and it would be wrong to punish you,” she added.
Read Hillary’s truly excellent speech in full. We have most of the speech below:
Now, this year’s presidential election is like none other in history. And we have had more people engaging and volunteering, casting their ballots, than ever before. Everywhere I go, people tell me, “I’ve never given money to a campaign in my life; this year is different. I’ve never followed an election before; this time I can’t stop watching.” And there’s a reason for that. With our economy in crisis, and with two wars and our children’s future in the balance, more people than ever before are taking politics seriously.
I happen to welcome that because this is a democracy, and we’ve all got to participate. In fact, we want more democracy, not less democracy. We want more people taking a part in the selection of their president.
Here in Florida, more than 1.7 million people cast their vote, the highest primary turnout in the history of Florida. And nearly 600,000 voters in Michigan did the same. And not a day goes by that I don’t meet someone who grabs my hand or holds up a sign, no matter where I am, in Kentucky or anywhere else, and says, “Please, make my vote count.”
I receive dozens and dozens of letters and emails and phone calls, every couple of hours it seems like, all making the same urgent request: please count my vote. We used to be worried about voter apathy, didn’t we? We worried why Americans didn’t participate. Now, people are worried that their participation won’t matter.
I believe the Democratic Party must count these votes. They should count them exactly as they were cast. Democracy demands no less.
I am here today because I believe that the decision our party faces is not just about the fate of these votes and the outcome of these primaries. It is about whether we will uphold our most fundamental values as Democrats and Americans. It is about whether we will move forward, united, to win this state and take back the White House this November. That has to be the prize that we keep in mind.
Because here in America, unlike in many other nations, we are bound together, not by a single shared religion or cultural heritage, but by a shared set of ideas and ideals, a shared civic faith, that we are entitled to speak and worship freely, that we deserve equal justice under the law, that we have certain core rights that no government can abridge and these rights are rooted in and sustained by the principle that our founders set forth in the Declaration of Independence. That a just government derives its power from the consent of the governed, that each of us should have an equal voice in determining the destiny of our nation. A generation of patriots risked and sacrificed lives on the battlefield for that ideal. [snip]
It took more than 70 years of struggle, setbacks, and grinding hard work and only one of those original suffragists lived to see women cast their ballots. There are women here today – as with my own mother – who were born before the Constitution granted us the right to vote. This is not something lost in the mists of memory and history; this is real. The generations here in this room have seen change. The men and women who knew their Constitutional right to vote meant little when poll taxes and literacy tests, violence, and intimidation made it impossible to exercise their right, so they marched and protested, faced dogs and tear gas, knelt down on that bridge in Selma to pray and were beaten within an inch of their lives.
Some gave their lives to the struggle for a more perfect union. There is a reason why so many have fought so hard and sacrificed so much. It is because they knew that to be a citizen of this country is to have the right and responsibility to help shape its future, not just to make your voice heard, but to have it count. People have fought hard because they knew their vote was at stake and so was their children’s future. Because of those who have come before, Senator Obama and I and so many of you have this precious right today. Because of all that has been done, we are in this historic presidential election. I believe that both Senator Obama and myself have an obligation as potential Democratic nominees – in fact, we all have an obligation as Democrats – to carry on this legacy and ensure that in our nominating process every voice is heard and every single vote is counted.
This work to extend the franchise to all of our citizens is a core mission of the modern Democratic Party, from signing the voting rights act and fighting racial discrimination at the ballot box, to lowering the voting age so those old enough to fight and die in war would have the right to choose their Commander-in-Chief, to fighting for multi-lingual ballots so you can make your voice heard no matter what language you speak. I am proud of our work today. We are fighting the redistricting initiatives that would dilute African American and Latino votes. We are fighting efforts to purge voters from the rolls here in Florida and elsewhere. We are fighting voter identification laws that could wrongly keep tens of thousands of voters from casting their ballots this November.
We carry on this cause for a simple reason, because we believe the outcome of our elections should be determined by the will of the people – nothing more, nothing less.
We believe the popular vote is the truest expression of your will. We believe it today, just as we believed it back in 2000 when right here in Florida, you learned the hard way what happens when your votes aren’t counted and the candidate with fewer votes is declared the winner. The lesson of 2000 here in Florida is crystal clear. If any votes aren’t counted, the will of the people is not realized and our democracy is diminished. That is what I have always believed.
My first job in politics was on the 1972 presidential campaign registering African-American and Hispanic voters in Texas. That work took me from home to home in neighborhood after neighborhood. I was determined to knock on every door and sign up every voter I could find. While we may not have won that election, I have never given up the fight. It is a fight I continue to this day.
Because I think it is appalling that in the 21st century, voters are still being wrongly turned away from the polls, ballots are still mysteriously lost in state after state, African-American and Hispanic voters still wait in line for hours while voters in the same state, even in the same county can wait just minutes to cast their votes. That’s why I’ve been working since 2004 with my dear friend Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones to pass the Count Every Vote Act; comprehensive voting rights legislation designed to end these deplorable violations. It will ensure that every eligible voter can vote, every vote is counted, and every vote can verify his or her vote before it is finally cast.
I will continue to fight for that same principle every day in this campaign. The fact is, the people of Florida voted back in January. You did your part. You showed up in record numbers and you made informed choices. But today, some months later, you still do not know if these votes will help determine our party’s nominee. You still don’t know if this great state will be represented at our convention in August. It is time you knew, because the more than 2.3 million people who voted in Florida and Michigan exercised their fundamental American right in good faith. You watched the news. You went to the candidates’ web sites, you talked to your friends and neighbors, you learned about our records and policies so you could make informed voting decisions. You didn’t break a single rule, and you should not be punished for matters beyond your control.
Now, I know that Senator Obama chose to remove his name from the ballot in Michigan, and that was his right. But his choice does not negate the votes of all those who turned out to cast their ballots, and we should not let our process rob them and all of you of your voices. To do so would undermine the very purpose of the nominating process. To ensure that as many Democrats as possible can cast their votes. To ensure that the party selects a nominee who truly represents the will of the voters and to ensure that the Democrats take back the White House to rebuild America.
Now, I’ve heard some say that counting Florida and Michigan would be changing the rules. I say that not counting Florida and Michigan is changing a central governing rule of this country – that whenever we can understand the clear intent of the voters, their votes should be counted. I remember very well back in 2000, there were those who argued that people’s votes should be discounted over technicalities. For the people of Florida who voted in this primary, the notion of discounting their votes sounds way too much of the same.
The votes of 1.7 million people should not be cast aside because of a technicality. The people who voted did nothing wrong, and it would be wrong to punish you. As the Florida Supreme Court said back in 2000, before the United States Supreme Court took the case away from them, as your Supreme Court said, it’s not about the technicalities or about the contestants. It’s about the will of the people. And whenever you can understand their intent, it should govern. It’s very clear what 1.7 million people intended here in Florida. Playing a role in the nominating process in a two-party system is just as important as having a vote in the presidential election on Election Day count.
We know it was wrong to penalize voters for the decisions of state officials back in the 2000 presidential election. It would be wrong to do so for decisions made in our nominating process. Democrats argued passionately. We are still arguing, aren’t we, for counting all the votes back in 2000, and we should be just as passionately arguing for that principle today, here in Florida and in Michigan. It is well within the Democratic Party rules to take this stand. The rules clearly state that we can count all of these votes and seat all of these delegates, pledged and unpledged, if we so choose. And the rules lay out a clear process for doing so.[snip]
I remember when President Lyndon Johnson addressed the Congress and the nation urging the passage of the Voting Rights Act. He declared, “I speak tonight for the dignity of man and the destiny of democracy.” It was urgent, elevated language, but it was not hyperbole. Now, as back then, those are the stakes. That’s why here in Florida, even when you were told your primary might not count, you voted anyway.
A Floridian I know from Tallahassee told me about his mother’s canasta club. It’s a group of women in their golden years who gather every week to play cards and visit. They talked about that Florida primary every week as they gathered around the card table. They followed the news closely. They discussed the candidates and their positions on the issues. They knew about the dispute over the primary schedule and the question of seating delegates. And when it came time to vote, like so many other good citizens of this state, the ladies of the canasta club dutifully cast their ballots for the candidates of their choice. They made informed choices. They did nothing wrong, and they should not be punished for doing their civic duty.
You knew then what Americans know, that this political process of ours is about more than the candidates running, the pundits commenting or the ads blaring. It’s about the path we choose as a nation. If anyone ever doubted whether it mattered who our president was, the last seven years with George Bush should have removed every single doubt from anyone’s mind.
That’s why you voted, and that’s why I’m running. And that’s why you’ve been organizing and raising your voices, hoping to have your votes count. You refused to stay home then, and you refuse to stay silent now. Because you want to change America’s future and you have faith that your party, the Democratic Party, will give you that chance. I’m here today because I believe we should keep that faith, listen to your voices and count every single one of your votes. If we fail to do so, I worry that we will pay not only a moral cost, but a political cost as well.
We know the road to a Democratic White House runs right through Florida and Michigan. And if we care about winning those states in November, we need to count your votes now. If Democrats send the message that we don’t fully value your votes, we know Senator McCain and the Republicans will be more than happy to have them. The Republicans will make a simple and compelling argument. Why should Florida and Michigan voters trust the Democratic Party to look out for you when they won’t even listen to you?
Now, if you agree with me, I urge you to go to my website, HillaryClinton.com, and join the more than 300,000 who have already signed our petition asking the Democratic National Committee to count your votes. All 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the territories will have a chance to play a role in this historic process. Now is not the time for our party to have a dialogue about which states and which votes should count. The people of Florida are all too familiar with where that discussion can lead. In the end, we cannot move forward as a united party if some members of our party are left out. Senator Obama and I are running to be president of all Americans and all 50 states. And I want to be sure that all 50 states are counted and your delegates are seated at our convention.
So will you join me in making sure your voices are raised and heard so that your votes can be counted? Because remember, it’s been the mission of the Democratic Party, guided always by the understanding that as President Franklin Delano Roosevelt once said, “the ultimate rulers of our democracy are not the president, the senators, the members of Congress and government officials, but the voters of this country.” In this Democratic Party, the voters rule. So let’s make sure your voices are heard and your votes are counted.
Thank you, and God bless you, and God bless America.
Barack – God Bless America, Not God Damn America.
Hillary, don’t give up the fight. All the way to Denver!